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Art & Life


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February 12, 2012

It Snows
Sunday. A decent, if shorter than I'd have liked, night's sleep, staying up again to watch that Swedish police procedural that finished at ten-thirty and then (why do I do this?) spending more time working on the parade photographs. Anyway, up just after seven, to breakfast and back at the usual pace, the gas prices dropping two cents a gallon from yesterday. Go figure.

More work finishing the photographs. I might have enough for three sections (sixty-three or more pictures), but know in my heart of hearts it would be best to keep it at two. Too much stretching to fill out a full three, too many best not to have been posted pictures that are put up to fill it out. But we'll see.

There's a little internal dialogue that goes on around this. Why do I seem to like this one? Is it a gut reaction or a cerebral reaction? Why is it different from any of the others? If the photographer makes a statement at all, it's in the selection of prints he or she chooses to display. Yes, there's an ongoing drift in that it does evolve over time - narrows, enlarges, changes direction - but ultimately, out of say ten thousand photographs, which one hundred (or five hundred or a thousand) together say what he's trying to get across?

Easy if you actually knew exactly what it was you were trying to communicate, but whatever your knowledge, you're still picking up clues on the receiving end of the conversation just like anyone else. A bit closer, of course, the one who's got the camera in his hand, but still, you're listening to and deciphering a conversation that's not done in words. Why a collector is said to have a visual bent in that he or she makes personal choices in creating a collection of images that together make a personal statement. But I do go on.

And you don' t stop. You're not an Avedon or a Bresson after all.

No, but there are degrees that everyone addresses from bottom to top and everyone, no matter their level, takes part.

Yet you do seem to fret and fret.

Well, for maybe a paragraph or so.

Later. The afternoon spent manipulating photos and putting the artandlife pages together with a short break to take a walk over to the morning restaurant for coffee and a piece of cake. There were indeed three sections of photographs I liked, the problem one of getting all of them in.

I was thinking of sushi and sake later to celebrate, but talked myself out of it. An interesting sequence asking myself a list of questions: Am I hungry? Do I really want to drink sake tonight? Do I really want to spend the money? Am I really willing to give up any real chance of accomplishing anything later this evening, such as a proper session on the guitar? Interesting that the answers were all “no” across the board, so why the question in the first place, why the urge? Habit?

One little surprise, sitting down just before heading over to the morning restaurant: the back on my desk chair broke as I sat. Snap! I put it back together just as I was leaving, but forgot I'd done so when I returned, sat down and almost went over backward onto the floor. Dumb. Don't want to do that. Silly way to leave the planet. Still, I'm not sure there's a single piece of furniture now in the apartment with the exception of the bed, stereo cabinet and an Ikea work table that aren't in some way broken or worn out.

OK, I've been putting off buying furniture until I move to another place. Famous reason for living without decent furniture - we'll replace it all when we're finally settled in a place we're going to stay for the rest of our life - so I suspect I'm now in the market. Not just the one office chair, but a couple of decent recliners to replace the two in the living room as well. The last two I bought (from Scandinavian Designs) didn't hold up (after six or seven years of use when I was quite a bit heavier, so no complaints). We'll leave off buying a couch and an end table or two until, well, it snows.

2012 San Francisco Chinese New Year Parade taken with a Nikon D3s mounted with a 70-200mm f 2.8 Nikkor VR II lens.